Black Basta Ransomware Decryptor Released to Help Some Victims

Black Basta Ransomware AttackA flaw found by security researchers in the encryption software allows victim organizations to use “Black Basta Buster” to recover some of their data – but there’s a catch.

We’ve all heard – for as long as ransomware attacks have been happening,  you either need to pay the ransom or recover from backups. But a third option has now sprouted up on GitHub.

The collection of python scripts, dubbed “Black Basta Buster”, takes advantage of a flow found in versions of Black Basta ransomware from November 2022 through the third week of December 2023.

According to researchers at SRLabs in a Bleeping Computer article, Black Basta’s encryption has a flaw: “when using a stream cipher to encrypt a file whose bytes contain only zeros, the XOR key itself is written to the file, allowing retrieval of the encryption key.”

There are a few catches to this decryption capability:

  1. Decryption can only be done a file at a time. You’ll need to create a script to run the decryption against multiple files and/or folders.
  2. Not every file can be decrypted.  Smaller files (less than 5000 bytes) cannot be recovered due to the contents of the file not causing the XOR key to be written to the file). Files between 5000 bytes and 1GB can be recovered.  Files over 1GB can be recovered, but the first 5000 bytes will be lost.

For those organizations who don’t have the needed backups to recover, this decryptor may save the day. We always recommend having proper backups in place to perform a full disaster recovery, as you won’t know what parts of the environment will be hit.

Black Basta is well-known for using stolen credentials – usually acquired by initial access brokers via phishing. So, right up there with backups, we recommend putting new-school security awareness training in place to keep phishing attacks from being successful, preventing attackers like Black Basta from even gaining access to the environment in the first place.

KnowBe4 enables your workforce to make smarter security decisions every day. Over 65,000 organizations worldwide trust the KnowBe4 platform to strengthen their security culture and reduce human risk.

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